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Galapagos, GlaxoSmithKline, Phylonix Pharmaceuticals

Galapagos Nets $10.8M from Milestones in GSK Agreement
Galapagos announced this week that it has reached what it termed “significant” milestones in its multi-year osteoarthritis drug discovery alliance with GlaxoSmithKline.
Achieving these milestones triggered a payment of €7.5 million ($10.8 million) from GSK, Galapagos said. The €7.5 million includes a €5.9 million payment for initiating two drug discovery programs from GSK that have been brought into the alliance as a consequence of its expansion in July.
This summer, GSK made a €4.4 million equity investment in Galapagos and the alliance was expanded to include up to two selected GSK targets. The expanded alliance is worth up to €186 million ($268 million) in milestones for two marketable products to Galapagos, plus up to double-digit royalties on global product sales.
This week’s announcement marks the fourth milestone payment made to Galapagos since the start of the osteoarthritis alliance. To date, Galapagos has received a total of €15.1 million in access fees and milestone payments from GSK under the alliance.
In June 2006, Galapagos and GSK's Center of Excellence for External Drug Discovery initiated a program to deliver disease-modifying drugs with clinical proof of concept to GSK's global research and development organization. The goal of this agreement is for Galapagos to expand its portfolio of novel targets in the field of osteoarthritis, conduct compound screening, identify tractable hits, pursue a number of hit-to-lead programs, and develop the resulting leads into candidate selection compounds through to a successful proof of concept in clinical research Phase IIa.
GSK has exclusive options to further develop and commercialize these compounds on a worldwide basis. Galapagos will have the right to further develop and commercialize compounds for which GSK does not exercise its option.

Phylonix Granted European Patent for Methods for Transplanting Cells Into Z-Fish
Phylonix Pharmaceuticals recently received European patent EP 1 135 531 B1 "Methods for Introducing Heterologous Cells into Fish,” the company said this week. The patent, which was issued in key European countries, comprises 68 claims, including the transplantation of stem cells, cancer cells, and pathogens into zebrafish. Neurons, chondrocytes, renal cells, and hepatic cells can be transplanted as well, and the effects of growth factors or cytotoxic agents can be assessed.

Claims made in the patent also include the recovery of cells for potential tissue engineering or transplantation applications. Many of these claims have been issued previously in the US and other countries.

The Scan

And Back

The New York Times reports that missing SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences are back in a different database.

Lacks Family Hires Attorney

A lawyer for the family of Henrietta Lacks plans to seek compensation from pharmaceutical companies that have used her cancer cells in product development, the Baltimore Sun reports.

For the Unknown

The Associated Press reports that family members are calling on the US military to use new DNA analysis techniques to identify unknown sailors and Marines who were on the USS Arizona.

PLOS Papers on Congenital Heart Disease, COVID-19 Infection Host MicroRNAs, Multiple Malformation Mutations

In PLOS this week: new genes linked to congenital heart disease, microRNAs with altered expression in COVID-19, and more.